MEMLING, Hans
(b. ca. 1440, Seligenstadt, d. 1494, Bruges)

Portrait of a Man with an Arrow

1478-80
Oil on oak panel, 31,9 x 25,8 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

The outline of this portrait is unclear due to the severe darkening of the background, which was originally a bright blue-green in colour. The man wears a black bonnet with a decorative pin in its upturned brim, depicting a Virgin on a crescent moon. This could be a reference to personal devotion or to membership of a religious confraternity. His right hand rests on the edge of the painting on the far left. The fingertips were, in fact, originally cut off slightly by the edge. He holds an arrow between his thumb and forefinger, which is probably intended as a reference to his office or rank in an archers' guild.




© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.